City Ordinances: Chapters 110-111

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This is just a part of the full ordinance document. Find the full, official document at the bottom or click here.

CHAPTER 110: NATURAL GAS FRANCHISE

110.01    GRANT OF FRANCHISE.  There is hereby granted to MidAmerican Energy Company, an Iowa corporation, hereinafter called “Company,” and to its successors and assigns the right and franchise to acquire, construct, erect, maintain and operate in the City a gas distribution system, to furnish natural gas along, under and upon the streets, avenues, alleys and public places to serve customers within and without the City and to furnish and sell natural gas to the City and its inhabitants.  Pursuant to Section 364.2(4)(e) of the Code of Iowa, upon application by the Company, the Company may be granted the right of eminent domain, the exercise of which is subject to Council approval by resolution.  The franchise shall be effective for a period of twenty-five (25) years from the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter.  The City reserves the right to terminate the franchise at the end of franchise year 15 if the Company, its successors and assigns no longer maintain a service facility in the City or in the immediate proximity of the City.  The Council shall notify the Company in writing 180 days prior to the end of year 15 of its intentions to terminate the franchise.

110.02    STATE CODE RESTRICTIONS AND LIMITATIONS.  The rights and privileges hereby granted are subject to the restrictions and limitations of Chapter 364 of the Code of Iowa.

110.03    EXCAVATIONS.  The Company shall have the right to excavate in any public street for the purpose of laying, relaying, repairing or extending gas pipes, mains, conduits and other facilities provided that the same shall be so placed as not to interfere with the construction of any water pipes, drain or sewer or the flow of water therefrom, which have been or may hereafter be located by authority of the City.

110.04    RELOCATION OF PROPERTY.  The Company shall, at its cost and expense, locate and relocate its installations in, on, over or under any public street or alley in the City in such manner as the City may at any time reasonably require for the purposes of facilitating the construction, reconstruction, maintenance or repair of the street or alley or any public improvement of, in or about any such street or alley or reasonably promoting the efficient operation of any such improvement.  If the City has a reasonable alternative route for the street, alley or public improvements, which alternative route would not cause the relocation of the Company installations, the City shall consider said alternative route.  If relocation of the Company facilities could be avoided by relocating other franchisee’s or facility user’s equipment and facilities, and said other franchisee’s or user’s cost of relocation is less than the Company’s cost of relocation, the City shall consider the route that requires the other franchisees or users to relocate.  If project funds from a source other than the City are available to pay for the relocation of utility facilities, the City shall use its best efforts to secure said funds and provide them to the Company to compensate the Company for the costs of relocation.

110.05    RESTORATION OF PROPERTY.  In making excavations in any streets, avenues, alleys and public places for the installation of gas pipes, conduits or apparatus, Company shall not unreasonably obstruct the use of the streets and shall replace the surface, restoring the original condition as nearly as practicable.

110.06    INDEMNIFICATION.  Company shall indemnify and save harmless the City from any and all claims, suits, losses, damages, costs or expenses on account of injury or damage to any person or property, caused or occasioned, or allegedly caused or occasioned, in whole or in part, by Company’s negligence in construction, reconstruction, excavation, operation or maintenance of the gas utilities authorized by the franchise, provided, however, that the Company shall not be obligated to defend, indemnify and save harmless the City for any costs or damages arising from the negligence of the City, its officers, employees or agents.

110.07    EXTENSION OF SYSTEM.  The Company shall extend its mains and pipes, and operate and maintain the system in accordance with the applicable regulations of the Iowa Utilities Board or its successors.

110.08    STANDARDS OF OPERATION.  During the term of the franchise, the Company shall furnish natural gas in the quantity and quality consistent with applicable Iowa laws and regulations.

110.09    FRANCHISE FEE.  During the term of the franchise, there is hereby imposed upon the Company, and by its acceptance of the franchise the Company agrees to pay the City a fee equal to five percent (5%) of the revenue from sales (defined as gross revenues less uncollectible accounts) derived from the sale of gas made by Company to City consumers.  There is also imposed upon Company, and by its acceptance of the franchise the Company agrees to pay the City a fee equal to five percent (5%) of the total cost, if known, of acquisition, transmission and distribution (wherever incurred) of gas sold to City consumers by suppliers other than Company and transmitted through Company’s distribution system, or if the total cost if unknown, then upon the value of the gas as determined by presuming that the consumer’s cost of gas is the same as if sold by Company under the terms of its effective tariff.  The franchise fee is imposed to compensate the City for the Company’s use of the streets, alleys and public ways for its mains, underground conduits, pipes and other gas utilities.  The City may, by ordinance, exempt certain types of sales or adjust the fee imposed upon Company from time to time, but in no event shall the fee exceed five percent (5%) of the revenue from sales derived from the sale of gas and gas utilities made to City consumers during the term of the franchise.  The Company shall certify to the City, in a form acceptable to the City, records establishing such revenues from sales for each month and shall pay the franchise fee to the City within thirty (30) days following the last day of the preceding month.  No franchise fee shall be assessed to the City as a customer of the Company.  The obligation to pay the fee imposed by this section may be modified if:  (a) the City permits any other person to sell gas to City consumers and pay a franchise fee or its lawful equivalent at a lesser rate than provided in this section in which case Company shall pay at the lesser rate; or (b) the City adds additional territory by annexation or consolidation and is unable to lawfully impose the franchise fee upon any person selling gas to consumers within the additional territory, in which case the franchise fee on the revenue from sales by the Company in the additional territory shall be equal to that of the lowest fee being paid by any other person selling gas within the additional areas.  The Company shall be relieved of its obligation to pay to the City the franchise fee, effective as of the date specified below, with no liability therefor under each or any of the following conditions:  (i) the collection or payment of a franchise fee is ruled to be unlawful by the Supreme Court of Iowa, effective as of the date specified by the Court; (ii) the Iowa General Assembly enacts legislation which makes the collection or payment of a franchise fee unlawful, effective as of the date lawfully specified by the General Assembly; (iii) the Iowa Utilities Board, or its successor agency, denies the Company the right to collect a franchise fee from its customers, provided such denial is affirmed by the Supreme Court of Iowa, effective as of the date of the agency order from which the appeal is taken.

110.10    TERMINATION.  The City reserves the right to terminate the franchise if Company substantially violates the terms and conditions of this chapter.  The City shall provide Company, via certified mail, notification of the specific alleged failures to comply with the terms and conditions herein contained.  Company shall have sixty (60) days from receipt of the notice to cure the violation, or in the event that by the nature of the violation it cannot be cured within 60 days, Company shall initiate reasonable steps to remedy said violation and notify the City of the steps being taken and the projected date that said remedies will be completed.  In the event Company fails to remedy the violation within 60 days of the date projected to be completed, the City may pursue any one or more of the following actions, including any other action provided under Federal or State law:

  1. Seek specific performance of any provision, which reasonably lends itself to such remedy.
  2. Commence an action at law for money damages or seek other equitable relief.
  3. In the case of a substantial violation, declare the franchise to be revoked in accordance with the following: The City shall give written notice to Company of its intent to revoke the franchise.  The notice shall set forth the determination of the City as to the exact nature of the noncompliance.  Company may appeal such determination to an appropriate court of competent jurisdiction.  Such appeal must be taken within thirty (30) days of the issuance of the determination by the City.  The City and Company may extend the thirty-day appeal period by written agreement.
  4. The City may, at its sole discretion, take any lawful action which it deems appropriate to enforce the City’s rights under this chapter in lieu of revocation of the franchise.
  5. If the City prevails under any of the above-noted actions, Company agrees to pay the costs incurred by the City, including its reasonable attorney fees.
  6. Company shall not be excused from complying with any terms and conditions of the franchise by any failure of the City upon any one or more occasions to insist upon or to seek compliance with any such terms or conditions.

110.11    ASSIGNMENT.  This chapter shall apply to and bind the City and Company, their successors and assigns, provided that any assignment by Company shall be subject to the approval of the Council by resolution, which approval shall not be reasonably withheld, except that no consent shall be required for any assignment or transfer by merger, consolidation or reorganization.  Upon any sale or assignment by Company, it shall file with the Clerk written notice of the proposed sale, transfer, disposition or assignment and clearly summarize the proposed procedure and the terms and conditions thereof.  If the City determines it needs additional information, Company shall provide the requested information.  The City shall be reimbursed by Company for the City’s reasonable costs incurred in reviewing all matters relating to the sale or assignment, including the reasonable costs for consultants or technical experts. The City shall have sixty (60) days from the effective date of the assignment to adopt the resolution.  If the City fails to adopt a resolution affirming or rejecting the assignment during the 60-day period, the assignment shall be deemed approved.

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Ordinance No. 342, adopting a natural gas franchise for the City, was passed and adopted on February 9, 2004.

 

CHAPTER 111: ELECTRIC FRANCHISE

111.01    GRANT OF FRANCHISE.  There is hereby granted to MidAmerican Energy Company, an Iowa corporation, hereinafter called “Company,” and to its successors and assigns the right and franchise to acquire, construct, erect, maintain and operate in the City a system for the transmission and distribution of electric energy along, under, over and upon the streets, avenues, alleys and public places to serve customers within and without the City and to furnish and sell electric energy to the City and its inhabitants.  Pursuant to Section 364.2(4)(e) of the Code of Iowa, upon application by the Company, the Company may be granted the right of eminent domain, the exercise of which is subject to Council approval by resolution.  The franchise shall remain in effect for a period of twenty-five (25) years from the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter.  The City reserves the right to terminate the franchise at the end of franchise year 15 if the Company, its successors and assigns no longer maintain a service facility in the City or in the immediate proximity of the City.  The Council shall notify the Company in writing 180 days prior to the end of year 15 of its intention to terminate the franchise.

111.02    COMPETITIVE ELECTRIC SERVICES.  Nothing in this agreement shall be construed or interpreted to limit or prohibit the City, residents or businesses of the City from participating in or enjoying any benefits and protections of a restructured electric utility industry to the extent that such benefits and protections are made available to consumers of competitive electric services under State and Federal rules, regulations and laws.

111.03    STATE CODE RESTRICTIONS AND LIMITATIONS.  The rights and privileges hereby granted are subject to the restrictions and limitations of Chapter 364 of the Code of Iowa.

111.04    EXCAVATIONS; TRIMMING TREES.  The Company shall have the right to erect all necessary poles and to place thereon the necessary wires, fixtures and accessories, as well as to excavate and bury conductors for the distribution of electric energy in and through the City, but all said conduits and poles shall be placed as not to interfere with the construction of any water pipes, drain or sewer, or the flow of water therefrom, which have been or may hereafter be located by authority of the City.  The Company is authorized and empowered to prune or remove at Company expense any trees extending into any street, alley or public grounds to maintain electric reliability, safety, to restore utility service and to prevent limbs, branches or trunks from interfering with the wires and facilities of the Company.  The pruning of trees shall be done to current nationally accepted safety and utility industry standards.

111.05    RELOCATION OF PROPERTY.  The Company shall, at its cost and expense, locate and relocate its installations in, on, over or under any public street or alley in the City in such manner as the City may at any time reasonably require for the purposes of facilitating the construction, reconstruction, maintenance or repair of the street or alley or any public improvement of, in or about any such street or alley or reasonably promoting the efficient operation of any such improvement.  If the City has a reasonable alternative route for the street, alley or public improvements, which alternative route would not cause the relocation of the Company installations, the City shall consider said alternative route.  If relocation of the Company facilities could be avoided by relocating other franchisee’s or facility user’s equipment and facilities, and said other franchisee’s or user’s cost of relocation is less than the Company’s cost of relocation, the City shall consider the route that requires the other franchisees or users to relocate.  If project funds from a source other than the City are available to pay for the relocation of utility facilities, the City shall use its best efforts to secure said funds and provide them to the Company to compensate the Company for the costs of relocation.

111.06    RESTORATION OF PROPERTY.  In making excavations in any streets, avenues, alleys and public places for the excavation of conduits or the erection of poles and wires or other appliances, the Company shall not unreasonably obstruct the use of the streets and shall replace the surface, restoring the original condition as nearly as practicable.

111.07    INDEMNIFICATION.  Company shall indemnify and save harmless City from any and all claims, suits, losses, damages, costs or expenses on account of injury or damage to any person or property, caused or occasioned, or allegedly caused or occasioned, in whole or in part, by Company’s negligence in construction, reconstruction, excavation, operation or maintenance of the electric facilities authorized by the franchise, provided, however, that the Company shall not be obligated to defend, indemnify and save harmless the City for any costs or damages arising from the negligence of the City, its officers, employees or agents.

111.08    MAINTENANCE OF FACILITIES.  The Company shall construct, operate and maintain its facilities in accordance with the applicable regulations of the Iowa Utilities Board or its successors.

111.09    STANDARDS OF OPERATION.  During the term of this franchise, the Company shall furnish electric energy in the quantity and quality consistent with applicable Iowa laws and regulations.

111.10    FRANCHISE FEE.  During the term of the franchise, there is hereby imposed upon the Company, and by its acceptance of the franchise the Company agrees to pay the City a fee equal to five percent (5%) of the revenue from sales (defined as gross revenues less uncollectible accounts) derived from the sale of electrical energy made by Company to City consumers.  There is also imposed upon Company, and by its acceptance of the franchise the Company agrees to pay the City a fee equal to five percent (5%) of the total cost, if known, of acquisition, transmission and distribution (wherever incurred) of electrical energy sold to City consumers by suppliers other than Company and transmitted through Company’s distribution system, or if the total cost if unknown, then upon the value of the electrical energy as determined by presuming that the consumer’s cost of electrical energy is the same as if sold by Company under the terms of its effective tariff.  The franchise fee is imposed to compensate the City for the Company’s use of the streets, alleys and public ways for its poles, overhead wires, underground conduits and other electric utilities.  The City may, by ordinance, exempt certain types of sales or adjust the fee imposed upon Company from time to time, but in no event shall the fee exceed five percent (5%) of the revenue from sales derived from the sale of electrical energy and electric utilities made to City consumers during the term of the franchise.  The Company shall certify to the City, in a form acceptable to the City, records establishing such revenues from sales for each month and shall pay the franchise fee to the City within thirty (30) days following the last day of the preceding month.  No franchise fee shall be assessed to the City as a customer of the Company.  The obligation to pay the fee imposed by this section may be modified if:  (a) the City permits any other person to sell electrical energy to City consumers and pay a franchise fee or its lawful equivalent at a lesser rate than provided in this section in which case Company shall pay at the lesser rate; or (b) the City adds additional territory by annexation or consolidation and is unable to lawfully impose the franchise fee upon any person selling electrical energy to consumers within the additional territory, in which case the franchise fee on the revenue from sales by the Company in the additional territory shall be equal to that of the lowest fee being paid by any other person selling electrical energy within the additional areas.  The Company shall be relieved of its obligation to pay to the City the franchise fee, effective as of the date specified below, with no liability therefor under each or any of the following conditions:  (i) the collection or payment of a franchise fee is ruled to be unlawful by the Supreme Court of Iowa, effective as of the date specified by the Court; (ii) the Iowa General Assembly enacts legislation which makes the collection or payment of a franchise fee unlawful, effective as of the date lawfully specified by the General Assembly; (iii) the Iowa Utilities Board, or its successor agency, denies the Company the right to collect a franchise fee from its customers, provided such denial is affirmed by the Supreme Court of Iowa, effective as of the date of the agency order from which the appeal it taken.

111.11    TERMINATION.  The City reserves the right to terminate the franchise if Company substantially violates the terms and conditions of this chapter.  The City shall provide Company, via certified mail, notification of the specific alleged failures to comply with the terms and conditions herein contained.  Company shall have sixty (60) days from receipt of the notice to cure the violation, or in the event that by the nature of the violation it cannot be cured within 60 days, Company shall initiate reasonable steps to remedy said violation and notify the City of the steps being taken and the projected date that said remedies will be completed.  In the event Company fails to remedy the violation within 60 days of the date projected to be completed, the City may pursue any one or more of the following actions, including any other action provided under Federal or State law:

  1. Seek specific performance of any provision, which reasonably lends itself to such remedy.
  2. Commence an action at law for money damages or seek other equitable relief.
  3. In the case of a substantial violation, declare the franchise to be revoked in accordance with the following: The City shall give written notice to Company of its intent to revoke the franchise.  The notice shall set forth the determination of the City as to the exact nature of the noncompliance.  Company may appeal such determination to an appropriate court of competent jurisdiction.  Such appeal must be taken within thirty (30) days of the issuance of the determination by the City.  The City and Company may extend the thirty-day appeal period by written agreement.
  4. The City may, at its sole discretion, take any lawful action which it deems appropriate to enforce the City’s rights under this chapter in lieu of revocation of the franchise.
  5. If the City prevails under any of the above-noted actions, Company agrees to pay the costs incurred by the City, including its reasonable attorney fees.
  6. Company shall not be excused from complying with any terms and conditions of the franchise by any failure of the City upon any one or more occasions to insist upon or to seek compliance with any such terms or conditions.

111.12    ASSIGNMENT.  This chapter shall apply to and bind the City and Company, their successors and assigns, provided that any assignment by Company shall be subject to the approval of the Council by resolution, which approval shall not be reasonably withheld, except that no consent shall be required for any assignment or transfer by merger, consolidation or reorganization.  Upon any sale or assignment by Company, it shall file with the Clerk written notice of the proposed sale, transfer, disposition or assignment and clearly summarize the proposed procedure and the terms and conditions thereof.  If the City determines it needs additional information, Company shall provide the requested information.  The City shall be reimbursed by Company for the City’s reasonable costs incurred in reviewing all matters relating to the sale or assignment, including the reasonable costs for consultants or technical experts. The City shall have sixty (60) days from the effective date of the assignment to adopt the resolution.  If the City fails to adopt a resolution affirming or rejecting the assignment during the 60-day period, the assignment shall be deemed approved.

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Ordinance No. 343, adopting an electric franchise for the City, was passed and adopted on February 9, 2004.

 

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